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Monday, April 26, 2010

Alien Film Invasion: The Ten Best Alien Movies of All Time

We love extraterrestrials! Check out our freaky and fantastic picks for the greatest alien movies ever...

Alien movies have been a staple of the science fiction film genre since it began. From the cute and cuddly, to the gruesome and grotesque, outer space aliens have captured our imaginations, filled us with fear, and made us re-contemplate our place in the cosmos. Here are our picks for the 10 best alien flicks ever:

1) Our first pick is the original Ridley Scott "Alien." If the title of this film isn't imaginative, then the film itself makes up for it with originality, groundbreaking effects, and an H. R. Giger-designed monster. A young Sigourney Weaver heads up the brilliant cast, which also includes Tom Skerritt, Ian Holm, and John Hurt. While visiting a distant planet, the crew of the Nostromo picks up an extraterrestrial killing machine that begins terrorizing the people on board. It's as much a suspense/horror thriller as it is a science-fiction film.

2) Next is Steven Spielberg's touching alien drama, "E.T." Has anyone not seen this movie?

3) A new addition to our favorite alien movies list is the Peter Jackson produced "District 9." Shot documentary-style, this movie chronicles the arrival of an alien spacecraft, the extraction of its inhabitants, and their incarceration at a detention facility full of dilapidated shacks and shanties. It's a unique alien invasion scenario; malnourished prawn-like aliens travel many light-years across the galaxy to become oppressed by the human race.

4) Also making the list is James Cameron's "Aliens," a follow-up to the Ridley Scott film. This time Ripley finds herself in the company of a rough and tumble unit of space marines, armed to the teeth with cool weapons and tech gadgets, ready to fight their way through not just one alien this time, but a whole swarm of the vicious creatures. Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, and Paul Reiser join the cast for this critically-acclaimed sequel.

5) Although this film has hardly stood the test of time, we're going to have to drop another Cameron film into this list: "Avatar." Recently smashing box office records, employing brand new 3D technology, and introducing audiences to a new breed of blue extraterrestrials, this Golden Globe winner has already made its share of waves in the ocean of science-fiction filmmaking. Greedy humans begin mining operations on a distant planet, inhabited by a troublesome native population, the Na'vi. Military forces are deployed to "relocate" these aliens. Military scientists combine the DNA of human soldiers with that of the Na'vi, thus creating big, blue super-soldiers; or avatars, controlled remotely by the thought patterns of their human counterparts, of course. The avatars, bringing with them the cruel agenda of the human mining operation, intermingle with the natives. Big budget action ensues as Sam Worthington's avatar leads a rebellion against the well-armed human oppressors.

6) "Contact." Robert Zemeckis helms an adaptation of the Carl Sagan novel by the same name. The astronomy community is all aflutter after receiving a mysterious message from deep space. Jodie Foster's character, Ellie Arroway, is an astronomer at the center of all the commotion. Her foil, Palmer Joss, played by Matthew McConaughey, is a man of faith. They face-off in thought-provoking philosophical debate about God, science, and life on other planets. Pay close attention to the character named S. R. Hadden...Is he an alien?...Or is he an angel?...Or perhaps both?

7) "The Day the Earth Stood Still"(1951). Robert Wise directs. An humanoid alien, Klaatu, does his homework on planet earth to make the ultimate decision: whether it should be destroyed or not. Meanwhile, his giant robot buddy, Gort, intimidates the U.S. Army with fancy lasers that melt tanks.

8) The original "War of the Worlds"(1953) makes our list. This Oscar-winning sci-fi flick, directed by Byron Haskin, is as classic as they get. The first film adaptation of H.G. Wells' terrifying alien invasion tale is still worth a watch today. **SPOILER ALERT: Wells surmised that alien intruders would die from our common cold. Imagine how safe Earth is now we have H1N1.

9) Next up, "Lilo and Stitch." That's right, we put a Disney cartoon on this list. Full of off-beat humor and plenty of heart, it's a tale of a misfit Hawaiian girl adopting an intergalactic fugitive as a pet. The two title characters are sophisticatedly strange for a children's movie. Artfully drawn figures and beautiful renditions of Hawaiian scenery add depth and style to this quirky, Oscar-nominated film.

10) Another Spielberg movie, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" rounds out our top ten list. Featuring special-effects that still hold up to modern standards, this film, starring Richard Dreyfuss as Roy Neary, takes place in remote parts of New Mexico. Neary and others spot UFO's in the skies. Visions of a mountain and mysterious music run through Neary's head, eventually leading him to the rendezvous point where he'll meet advanced interstellar visitors.

If you love aliens as much as we do, then you've probably seen most of the movies on this list. But these are essentials, so if there's one you haven't seen, then you're missing out. Check it out today!

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